As much as ads, books, and other forms of media may convey a dire need to you in terms of how and what you should be donating, it is critical to understand the significance of the whole picture. This whole issue of extreme poverty is a cycle -- it begins with consumers, just like you and I, who purchase goods.
I've had the honour and privilege of treating Mr. Downie over the past few months, and working with his health-care team during this summer's tour. When the band stepped on stage in Victoria, B.C. for the tour's first stop, like many others in the audience, I cried. I've been asked a lot this summer if I'm a Hip fan, and I am. I treat 250 new patients year, and I'm a fan of all of them -- for the strength they show and for the determination they have to make the cancer journey better for those who face it after them.
I have been fortunate to be able to assist on the ground with disaster relief in communities across Alberta including the Slave Lake fire in 2011 and the Calgary floods in 2013, and I've learned that cash donations, even small ones, are by far the most effective way to help those recovering from a disaster.
Without money, it would be nearly impossible for food banks to provide clients with a healthy dinner plate. That's because essentials like pasta, soup and beans pour in, while equally important items like fresh produce, meat and dairy items are in shorter supply. Financial donations create flexibility.
Unfortunately, it remains part of Canada's culture of philanthropy to think charities should spend all their money directly on programs and that "administrative" spending is wrong and should be discouraged. There's a double standard, with different expectations of businesses than of charities when it comes to investing internally.
The mission of #JustGive, to inspire the idea that giving can be simple, spontaneous and contagious, is something that I am really passionate about. Here are my top five fun, easy and totally free ideas that we can all incorporate into our daily lives that will have a "pay it forward" effect on our community.
It's expensive to raise a family. Canadian governments recognize this, and have historically tried to ease the expense at least a little by offering parents with dependent children tax credits and deductions that others don't get. The individual tax credits may not seem significant, but they can add up to a few more dollars in your pocket. And when you are raising kids, every little bit helps.
From afar, we witnessed the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. To date, Canada's Jewish community has commendably raised close to $200,000 for relief in the Philippines. We will never forget the role the Philippines played in helping to push for the Jewish people's salvation and in ensuring that our futures are secure thanks to the creation of the Jewish state.